Wednesday 8th May saw four Wigan Harriers take on the Haigh Hall 4 mile road race. For 3 of the runners this was not their first time but for Mike Harris it was a chance to do “a Millington” and register a PB over this distance as a newbie.
The course HQ is at Wigan Rugby Union Club which gave an opportunity for Dave Collins, Jayne Taylor, Gary Wane and Mike Harris to do a decent warm up as the course started within Haigh Hall. After giving the trees and shrubs a decent watering the Harrier’s quartet were ready to take on the hill start. Everyone noticed that Gary was really pumped and up for it, Dave concluded that Mel must have been feeding him raw meat all week!
For those unfamiliar with the course, it starts on the bridge over the old railway line halfway up the road to the hall from the Hospital plantation gates about 1/3 mile before the canal bridge. Runners have a one mile climb before doing 2 loops around the Hall, past the stables, playground and back round by the pool. Once the two loops are complete it’s a mad dash back down the hill.
Dave took pole position on the hill climb for Harriers and ran an even paced race gradually picking off runners on the loops to come home in an excellent 13th place in 25.02, 3rd V50. Dave reckoned he is cursed as other fast V50 runners always turn up when he races, still Dave eventually prized a £10 sweatshop voucher off the organisers for his efforts.
Trying desperately to hang onto Dave’s coat-tails was Mike Harris. Although he managed to stay in touch on the climb, the flatter ground of mid-race saw Dave pull away into the distance. Mike came home in 25.31, 15th place, 2nd V40, pleased to have gained places throughout the race.
Following on from last week’s excellent run at Chorley, Jayne was again to seeing the benefits of her new wonder diet to turn in a brilliant performance, coming home in 20th place, 1st V50 in 26.01. Jayne was also thrilled to also beat her long time rival from Horwich, Suzanne Budgett by nearly one and half minutes. Well done!
Whilst these battles were taking place there was a far more bruising battle taking place right behind Jayne. Gary Wane fresh from his recent marathon and 10k successes was trying to set yet another PB (steady you’ll get a reputation like someone else). He was battling single handed with not one Phoenix runner but three! Our hero prevailed coming home ahead of them all in 25th place, 27.36 – another PB!
An excellent evening was had by all, a big thank you goes out to the Harriers who came along and cheered us on.
Look out for details of other mid week races on the blog and facebook and try make it along to some of them. They are good fun, great training, cheap, local and good publicity for Wigan Harriers. Don’t worry about what level you are at as these races are for all abilities – the finish times for Haigh varied from 22 through to 44 minutes